hi my name is mark.i live in ontario canada.i am a gas fitter and would like to expand into the home inspecton industry.i am seeking a place to find training. i have come accross a few different options.the two i am leaning towords are a community college course and ahit online course.can anyone tell me if there is a significant difference in the two.ahit seems to provide everything needed to get started. any info on this subject would very much appreciated thank you!


Where in Ontario do you live?

Don’t ever believe anything a school tells you about how to get into the profession, or how much you can make. You did the right thing by coming here to ask questions. Too often I see people that want to be a home inspector thinking that they take a couple of courses, put out some marketing, then BAM ! $100,000 a year !

If you ask me, take as many course as you can, study under someone who has been doing this for a while, read all you can on marketing, then save about one to two years of living expenses and give it all you got ! Even then only about 30% will succeed.

Not trying to scare you, just being truthful.

Good luck, PM me if I can be of any further help.



What ever school or training you decide to take, be sure the training is recognized by CAHPI’s National Certification Counsel. That is, if you want to get the National Certificate.

It is a tough row to hoe, as Jason mentions above, so be sure you are willing to be hungry for a while.:wink:

Good luck

Merry Christmas

Mark take a look at the Home inspection program at Hummber College.I would think it can be done on line at least the coareses I have taken from there were on line and as far as I know they are recognized for the national.
Just an example in order to qualifie for an RHI you must take Part nine of the building code, Heating.electrical,plumbing,defect recognition,intro to home inspection and now one called Language of liability which is required I believe for the national now. It took me 3 years to complete night school and on line.
You may not have to take the heating as you are a gas fitter

I know many who have done the Carson Dunlop course , Expensive but I have never heard of any one who is sorry they went this way .


George Brown College offers a good course and college certificate too.

Hi, CarsonDunlop worked for me, here is a note on what it may take to become a HomeInspector, good luck, if you would like more info e-mail me,

I think this is a very frustrating and difficult career to get into. Wonder they the colleges are not cranking out more inspectors?

Let me see if I can sum up the ideal requirements:
You need to have years of experience in the construction business or in one of the trades, which would take, well… years! Hard to get that coming out of a college!

You need to complete a ton of specialized courses that will cost you 4,000 to 6,000 or more, and take about 2 years of a lot of night school, while, presumably, you try to hold down a day job to pay for all this.

You need some equipment, ie: truck or van, ladders, and as many tools as you are foolish enough to use.

You need a reporting system - either computerized ( more bucks) or check off with comments, or… written. I forgot, most folks coming out of the school system would have to take a course on writing… and spelling … and maths…

Then once you have survived all of this cash outflow, you need to get some on the job training - lets say about 50 ride alongs with an experienced HI. Thats a trick, most are one man shops in an area where they do not want further competition, and live in fear of you stealing their contacts and future business, so that should really make this step a challenge, and take …well, years to complete 50 ride alongs!

You can join an association - preferably a professional one that will put you through a lot of hoops and steps and take months before you are allowed to practice inspections. Or, I suppose you could join some mail order group and have instant certification, which will likely be as recognizable to clients and Real Estate agents as any other “certification”.

Then you need insurance … if you can find a company that will insure a “newbie” and have still some money saved up to pay for the first year = lets say 5,000 to 6,000. Of course, you can decide to go without since by now, you probably will not have any assets left, and are highly unlikely to be able to afford any assets for the next several years if you survive in business as a home inspector.

Now, at last, 3 or 4 years later, you are ready to do inspections. Except that expensive cell phone and business line, are not ringing. So, you have to pound on doors, try to get by the pit bull at the front desk of most real estate firms, actually find an agent in the office, and willing to meet with you. You live in hope, that, once they recognize your lack of experience at inspections, but admire your young eagerness(?!) they will actually put you on their referral list - with all of the other inspectors they have used for years. Of course you will not see instances of agents pushing their “preferred” inspector since they are not allowed to do that!

So, once you are in business doing inspections, then the fall and winter arrive, and you are shocked to find out there is next to no inspection business due to the “slow” season in the Real Estate world. So, you have to face several months of no or negligible income with ongoing steady cash drains to support being in business. Opps, forgot all that money you have to find in order to advertize.

By now you have had to undercut all of the competition with the lowest rates in town in hopes that you will pull some business away from the more experienced inspectors out there, who, mysteriously are no longer talking to you. Suddenly you realize that you still do not have enough coming in to cover the costs. Should you have the misfortune of having to pay for an unhappy client, or worse yet, litigation - then you are really up the creek.

Suddenly, by year two or three, if you have made it that far, you wonder why did you even bother to spend all that time and money to get into a business, that, for many, is very stressful with constant concerns of litigation … and bankruptcy, especially when you realize that many experienced inspectors seem to last less than 7 years in this business, before burn out …or bankruptcy beats them down.

I forgot a couple of other ideal prerequisites, 1) independently wealthy - opps that probably means your assets are at risk
2) very understanding spouse who has a great career and is willing to support you, pay all the bills, watch the savings erode, while you struggle to make a go of this business.
3) a healthy retirement income, so you can enjoy this advocation without worry about making ends meet.

Since 1) and 2) are very hard to find these days, then, many inspectors likely fit into category 3)!

Gee, I wonder why so many are in the 50 to 60 age group?

Fear not, many baby boomers will be retiring so our ranks should continue to grow = with 50 to 60 year olds!

A very interesting statistic. Almost half of us are in the 50-60 age group with none under 30. Do you think this is because colleges aren’t promoting home inspection enough to entry level students.[INDENT]Chuck Crooker CROOKERHANCOX HOME INSPECTIONS INC.[/INDENT]

Well said Chuck . Chuck is not kidding not a little bit. Statisticks I have seen show 90% of those who start in the Home Inspection business do not last 3 years.
Look on the NACHI BB and see how many are over 3 years.
All the schooling and book learning is just about 40% of your training .
Field work is 60% in my openion.
I am a electrician for many years . When I started I was very fortunate to Have a son who has been doing inspections for ever. I went out with him for close to 100 inspections and went out with two other HIs to get to see how they did inspections .
When I did my first inspection I had more experience then some HIs who had been doing it for years.
We have a constant turn over in my area of those who wish to make their living at home inspector about 15 and 3 are making their living at it full time .
Ride alongs are very important even if you have to pay $50:00 fo each one and do 50 ,it will be the best money you can spend.
Good luck any questions ask Chuck or myself and we will try and give you our assistance .


having been in this business now for 17 years I could not have explained the trials and tribulations any better then Chuck has in the above post. As far as my suggestion goes, if you really want to punish yourself be prepared for up 5 years of poverty before you may begin to see some financial return. I know that sounds grazy, but it is reality. Don’t believe the claims of big money easy living and immediate success that most associations, private & public schools exclaim. It’s all BS, you will be broke for a long time before you make it, if you last that long.
Best regards

To Chuck, nice try at saving another soul from entering the business or are you just trying to protect your business? :smiley: Not trying start an argument.

To Mark, I took the Carson Dunlop courses through Seneca and can honestly say that it was very rewarding. Also I have been through the Carson Dunlop field training. Its an extra expense but well worth it.

I adding to chucks “Cautions” I also believe that you can’t place all your eggs in the basket as there is turn around time to get going. But here is the thing I have been to a few NACHI meeting and at everyone Nick stands up and true to form asks everyone who is going to raise there fees?

Until we all do it the ones who wont are holding back the ones that will and everyone should. So the fact that somone may think that undercutting everyone else to get an inspection would do a dis-service to the industry.

Look at the numbers a 300,000.00 house being sold 3.75 % Comm. = 11250
If somone were to charge 250.00 to get the inspection thats .008 % of the house sale price this is rediculus. Here is an inspector that can save someone 10-20K in costs willing to tell them for 250.00.

If I am to consider myself a prefessional then I better charge like one. Even if I charge them 500.00? They are still better off. What do think
people are going to ask? Compare your service to a car. Are you buying
a Kia or Porshe? To get quailty you have to pay for it and that is what I
tell any clients who would ask.

Please if you get into this business the lowest price doen’t help anyone. Because once that price is set in the minds of Agents they will always expect it.

Good luck.

STEVEN, IF I WAS TRING TO PROTECT MAY BUSINESS per say, I do not think I would have help start a chapter in my own home town and or tried to help anyone anywhere that I could. Sorry you feel this way, and yes Carson and Dunlop is a good course (as I said before). For those of you that would like any help with your biz please contact me at and I WILL TRY my best to help, even if you live next door.:roll:

Mark are you out here???

Steven I am disappointed in your reply
I have to think you know little about Chuck .
He is great and if every one else tried to help others as much as chuck does then it would be a wonderfull world .
This BB is a great place to get and give information and there is a lot of good information traded .
Chuck said much of what I would have said only he did a better job then I could have .
It was all the truth and there is a failure rate of about 90% in the first three years .
If any one has doubts or has not the funds to last then Chuck has done them a great service by saving them much time and money .



I agree with Chuck it is a long haul to become an HI. The better part of # years of night school and on line studies.
Ialso agree with Steven we as a group have to raise the price and I have lost a lot of inspections this year in tring to do just that.To meny inspectors out there doing inspection for around $300 no matter what size the house is and the agents love them.

After all the above why in hell am I in this business. It’s not the money I don’t make any. It’s not the protégé, Screw up once and you are a dog and a single frivolous law suit puts you out of business.
It’s got to be love, “baby” I’ve been an inspector since 1972. I love it. It suits me. It does not matter how much schooling you get. You will always run into something new. When you do admit it to your client, work on that trust. And go find out all you can about that thing and get back to your client. Some sources is this Association’s board. When I found this association, it like finding Gold. The other source is the local city or municipal inspector. They know the code inside out.
You said you are a plumber I Assume a journeyman. YOU SHOULD NOT HAVE TO RETAKE PLUMBING RELATED COURSES.
That’s the major objection many people have to the CAPHI philosophy. They believe that no one in the whole wide world knows how to do inspections unless they have taken all the CAPHI courses and jumped through all of CAPHI’s obstical courses. That’s Bull Sh!! and most intelligent people realize that.
Several comments on this thread tell me that the author believes that CAPHI’s agenda is a forgone conclusion. That is a false assumption.
I’m speaking from Experience because we attended the Advisory committee in Alberta and you can rest assured there were some very disgruntled CAPHI people in Alberta. We blew the lid off the whole process and most of the none CAPHI committee were impressed with Nick’s presentation and I’m sure they will be asking for more input from NACHI.
All you people in all the other provinces better get off you butts, search out the government committees that are meeting with CAPHI and fine a way to make a NACHI presentation. If you do not, you better start planning for a career change.
The Government has to address the needs of all stake holders
We started the ball rolling in Alberta. As a popular song says We have a long way to go and a short time to get there.
I worked for the government for many years and the one thing the government employee is terrified of is making a mistake. So if you approach then diplomatically with serious concerns they will welcome your input.

Sounds Good thanks Vern Glad for all.


Hopefully things will get underway here in Ontario on the 30’th of December. Stay tuned.

Nick/ Vern; I forgot to ask Nick at the meeting the other night, if NACHI would send out some type of statement/letter concerning the CAHPI newsletter to Realtors that was implying that they were THE main players. Even if you don’t mention them…what about an informative NACHI sheet letting them know who we are and filling them in on the real FACTS??

I’m sure someone from each area would send in the local real estate boards office addresses and the addresses for each real estate offices. Yes/no, what do you think?

Good idea Darrell, Also a follow up regards to the meeting with the Gov’t would be great. For those of you that didn’t attend the Edmonton meeting you missed out on some great info. Please make plans to attend the next meeting coming soon.

Darrell let me know when you want to put something together for Southern Alberta. The soooner the better. :wink: